For this week’s MMC-5006 assignment, I am analyzing three major brands to determine if they are utilizing an Integrated Marketing Communication approach for their branding, including use of multiple social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and at least one more.
First, let’s look at men’s fashion marketer Perry Ellis…
Perry Ellis is a clothing brand founded by its namesake in the mid-1970’s and owned by Perry Ellis International. The company is headquartered in Doral, Florida. The Perry Ellis brand has been described as “fashion with a twist,” and the designer himself said that he was “inspired to design clothes that are more obtainable, more relaxed, but ultimately more stylish and witty.”
The company’s marketing efforts appear to stay very true to that brand description, and they do a spectacular job of engaging consumers with their integrated marketing plan. The look and feel of all their public marketing is consistent. Their content across all platforms is eye-catching and updated regularly. They successfully push and pull their shoppers to points of sale through use of a phalanx of social media, email, direct mail, magazines, and in-store displays.
The brand’s official website:
The company’s social media presence is especially ubiquitous.
Across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ they make excellent use of consistent hashtags of various styles (as we learned was good practice in this week’s lecture) such as some they likely own (#veryperry, #stylechat, #gentschat) and others more generically community-focused (#menswear, #style).
They also do an excellent job of encouraging fans to engage with them on other channels as well.
Here is an email solicitation I personally received last week.
The Perry Ellis Brand team really can be showcased as a textbook example of marketers utilizing excellent IMC.
Next, we’ll look at PetSmart.
PetSmart is an international retailer headquartered in Phoenix, AZ with over 1,300 stores across the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company specializes in pet supplies, pet grooming, pet adoption, and, in some locations, veterinary care through their partnership with Banfield Pet Hospital.
PetSmart also employs integrated marketing communication in promoting their brand across multiple platforms such as direct mail, email, newspaper advertising, and social media. The social channels used are: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube. Over the period of time that I researched their SM practices, PetSmart did a nice job of pushing a very consistent message – Halloween for Pets – across their website and social channels utilizing appropriate topical imagery.
They clearly cross-promoted a contest (#MonsterCute) across Twitter, Instagram, and the company website, pushing users to those sites to enter.
Other hashtags used consistently were the owned #petsmartsocial.com and the topical community-focused #halloween.
PetSmart does a good job of updating their content regularly on most channels, but not all. Most notably their Google+ and YouTube pages appear to be poorly tended by the SM team with only sporadic posts. They do have channel sharing buttons on the website and YouTube.
The company also employs email and newspaper advertising – typically a glossy color insert – in their strategy.
During my observation period, the company was receiving some virulent, blistering negative feedback from pet lovers across the country based on sketchy reports that PetSmarts in South Carolina had abandoned their stores due to flooding and left caged pets behind to drown. True or not, the company’s SM team noticeably did little-to-nothing to respond.
GRADE – B
Lastly, an analysis of the brand marketing of rock and roll superstars U2:
U2 was formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1976, and the band has recorded and performed consistently over the 39 years since. They have released 13 studio albums and are one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 170 million records worldwide. Winners of 22 Grammy Awards, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. U2 is known for mammoth stage shows and concert tours that last for years. The band is presently on such a tour labeled the “Innocence + Experience Tour.” They are performing across Europe right now, and that experience is at the forefront of their present integrated marketing strategy which is incorporating social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr), email, and traditional media (television).
The brand message across all of the social media platforms is the present tour.
It is consistent……but perhaps a little TOO consistent. What I found was that while the page content is being regularly updated – usually employing engaging photos from band members and fans – it is the exact same photos across all the channels. So, good marks for the updating, but the sameness does nothing to encourage fans to follow the band on more than one or two channels, despite the push to do so.
They do employ hashtags – currently #U2ieTour and #U2onHBO are the big ones, the latter referencing the band’s upcoming live concert special on HBO premiering November 14th. Television also comes into play in the marketing mix as there are promos for the special airing on HBO and cable systems.
Email is also being employed. I just received this one this week.
U2 is a giant brand in the entertainment industry, yet their social media posts, endearingly feel like a small community. However, they also feel kind of automated, like maybe the SM team is just checking off the to-do list.
GRADE – B
Big brands who all know the importance of an integrated marketing plan and do a good job of implementing it, but of these three, it’s easy to spot the real rock star.